Joe Mondragón, a thirty-six-year-old hustler with a talent for trouble, slams his battered pickup to a stop, tugs on his gumboots, and marches into the arid patch of ground. Carefully, if impulsively (and also illegally), he taps into the main irrigation channel. And so begins the Milagro beanfield war.
But like everything else in the dirt-poor town of Milagro, it is a patchwork war, fought more by tactical retreats than by battlefield victories. Gradually, ever so awkwardly, the small farmers and sheepmen begin to rally to Joe's beanfield as the symbol of their lost rights and their lost lands. This novel is wildly comic, shrewdly perceptive, and lovingly tender, a vivid portrayal of a town that, half-stumbling and partly prodded, must grope its way toward its own stubborn salvation.
The Milagro Beanfield War is part of the New Mexico Trilogy, which includes The Magic Journey and The Nirvana Blues.